Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Can The US Survive an EMP?

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from Dahboo77:

12 Tips to Pack Your Bug-Out Vehicle Like a Pro

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by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

Hi, really appreciate all the articles you and the others do on these websites! I’ve been searching for articles particularly on one would pack their vehicle mine being a truck in the event I had to get out. I know pallets that are shipped have a specific order on what goes on first comes off last. I have to factor in weight especially and usually pack the bed with the heaviest items over the axle or forward. I would also be interested in how you would organize backpacks as weight is also a major factor. Many Thanks.”

Well, we’re going to cover the vehicle loads in this article and follow up with one on backpacks and rucksacks in Part 2.  So, let’s jump into it!  One of the things that you must find out first regarding your particular vehicle is its load capacity.  How much weight can it hold?  How much can the axles take?  It is more than this, however: certain weight loads will shift with terrain and with the gradient driving upon.  A steep incline that tilts the bed of that pickup too far will end up turning that pickup into a dump truck.

In addition, you also need to assess what you’re transporting to minimize danger.  Ammo, flammable liquids, and so forth.  An accident with a power line can introduce electricity into the equation and create a secondary explosion that ends up being worse than the accident.  Let’s go through some basics.

  1. Strap down all your loads as best you can…and make this mandatory with anything that is liquid/fluids, such as water cans, fuel cans, etc.
  2. Make sure all your flammable liquids are in sealed and sturdy containers that do not leak and can hold up to rough handling.
  3. Pack those flammable liquids to the rear of the vehicle…the point being if they’re on fire, they’re away from the driver and passengers as far as possible. This will not stop gunfire, but that’s a different problem.
  4. Minimize those flammable liquids in the truck bed. Maybe one or two gas cans max.  If you need to haul that much, then you should have a trailer/cart of some kind.
  5. Stagger your load evenly…think of the term “Bilateral Symmetry” …that is a “mirrored” side…one water can on the left, and one water can on the right. Make the load even.
  6. Ammo in military-issue ammo cans. They’re water-tight with a rubber seal, and they can take a beating.  Pack these guys to the rear of a vehicle.  Use cargo straps to keep them from “hopping” around…tie them down as best you can, and stagger the load evenly.
  7. Whatever your maximum load capacity is, load up only to 90% of that at the most. Give yourself that “pad” either for extra items you may need to acquire, or changes in the loads if you have more than one vehicle in your entourage.
  8. All emergency gear (such as fire-starting equipment and pioneer tools – shovels, picks, a chainsaw, and rope/cables – needs to be stowed in the rear where it is accessible easily and quickly.
  9. Foodstuffs and food supplies: insulate them with pads, cardboard boxes, and Styrofoam for temperature controls, and pack them evenly toward the front.
  10. Weapons (besides the ones you’re carrying on you) should be accessible by the driver and the passenger in the cab or behind the seats.
  11. Medical supplies: in the middle of the bed, protected for temperature and packed to grab at a moment’s notice.
  12. Nest: Build a “nest” around these supplies of food and medicine with things such as blankets, sleeping bags, and rucksacks. The rucks should be packed to the rear, just forward of the ammo.

The reason ammo is packed in the rear is that if you must abandon the vehicle in a SHTF-scenario, you want to access the ammo and control the weapons (in the cab) and download these first.  They are a priority and sensitive items.

“Those who beat their rifles into plowshares will soon plow for those who do not.”

                                                      Ben Franklin

Weapons and ammo are vital to keep the other “B’s,” namely your beans and band-aids.  You can prioritize for yourself, but I mention this: if you’re just sitting around in a hide site for a week, unless you’re injured, you’ll need the food before the medical supplies.  The weapons?  If you have food and medical supplies and no means to defend them…you’re just holding onto them for someone else when it hits the fan.  Three B’s are “Bullets, Beans, and Band-Aids.”

Returning to the packing, if it is wintertime and you have water containers, make sure that you take out about ¼ out of your container to allow for expansion if the water freezes.  Don’t put in any additives such as “salt” or “alcohol,” as it will keep it from freezing but it pollutes your water supply and makes it either a “dehydrating solution” or a “diuretic.”  Both defeat the purpose.  Remember: water’s heavy, at 7.6 lbs. per gallon…you can use that figure to estimate the weight of any fuel you’re toting, as well.

Camouflage all that you have packed.  For your pickup truck (that’s what we’ve focused on here), if you stack supplies up on pallets and load the truck, ensure that everything is strapped down.  Make sure that you have a cap to smack on the back of the pickup.  If you don’t want to use it before SHTF, that’s fine.  Just make sure you can throw it on when it all collapses.  It will be worth its weight in gold to keep your supplies dry and shielded from the elements.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

Here’s How You’ll Die When the SHTF (and How to Prevent Your Untimely Demise)

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

When it hits the fan…I mean REALLY hits the fan in a permanent kind of way, the most likely outcome is death.

That’s not pretty, and I’m well aware of it. I always try to be positive and optimistic, because for me, preparedness is the ultimate act of optimism, but sometimes we have to look at the numbers and face some things that are pretty terrifying. The first reality check is that some research says that only 3 million Americans are preppers.  That means that 315 million Americans are not preppers. Some experts predict that within 30 days of the power going out, 50% of Americans will be dead. Within a year, an astounding 90% of the population will be dead.

Are We Counting Down The Hours Towards ‘Two Meals And 24 Hours Away From Barbarism’ In America?

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by Stefan Stanford, All News Pipeline:

If NKorea ‘Cascades Out Of Control’, It’ll Be Far Too Late To Prepare By Then

In the story over at the Daily Mail that Steve Quayle linked to on his website on Sunday they reported that according to President Trump’s National Security Adviser, each North Korean missile launch brings the world closer to war with the possibility of nuclear war increasing every day. 

Telling Fox News’ Bret Baier that “we’re in a race to be able to solve this problem”, HR McMaster also warned “there’s not much time left” as each time that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un fires an ICBM into space, “he gets better at it”

And while many have warned that McMaster is a ‘deep state’ intruder into President Trump’s cabinet and that we should stay aware, McMaster warns that Kim’s rogue regime poses the greatest immediate threat to the United States and to the world that we face. Of great concern to us was this overlooked sentence from that story on Kim’s recent ICBM launch: 

The ballistic missile fired last week did not survive re-entry into the atmosphere – it broke up. 

And while that might sound like ‘a win’ for America and a sign that Kim’s nuclear program in North Korea still has a way to go to be able to go up against us, as Mike Adams reported back on Natural News back on November 30th, a nuclear warhead wouldn’t NEED to survive re-entry into the atmosphere if it was detonated at a height of between 30 and 400 kilometers over the United States, nearly instantly sending our nation back to the dark ages. 

As Adams reports as also heard in the 1st video below, such a strike could easily end up culling 90% or more of the US population, with a single warhead strike, after the total breakdown of our society that would be caused once the electrical grid goes down. 

And while the US military and citizen radio operators across America recently took part in exercises that would simulate such an attack upon America that would take down not only the grid but all communications, Americans in general are TOTALLY unprepared for such an attack and all of the chaos and madness that would come along with it. 

Within this new story from over at WND titled “ASTRONOMICAL LOSS OF LIFE IN POTENTIAL U.S. WAR WITH N. KOREA – ‘It is a race because he’s getting closer and closer, and there’s not much time left’ they report what a war with North Korea would likely look like according to military experts, and it’s horrifying.:

“We will see a horrible loss of human life. Probably 300,000 to 400,000 in the first week, civilian and military,” they said. “Probably over 2 million by the time three weeks is up.”

While North Korea has reserves of about 6 million forces and has the 6th largest Army in the world, they only have about a two- to three-week supply of food, ammunition, fuel, etc. So all of Kim’s military goals would have to be met within that small window. Yet if Kim’s goal is to send America back to the dark ages, he wouldn’t need anywhere near that much time. 

Is America just one EMP attack away from near-extinction? It has been said that all civilizations are only two meals and 24 hours awayfrom barbarism.  

Read More @ AllNewsPipeline.com

A Power Grid Failure Will Totally Disrupt Your Life: Lessons From Venezuela

by J. G. Martinez D., The Organic Prepper:

Hello people.

You must be already aware of the terrible water situation that people in most of the cities in Venezuela is facing. This is the product of the combination of several factors that I will try to explain. But please! Understand that we suffered the consequences of a weirdo military chief that NEVER had any clue about governing like a civilian, but giving orders and commands, and he ordered to seize all the companies and put them under control of the “State” because everyone should have access to water. Indeed our laws say that water is free; I mentioned this in a previous article. Companies therefore quickly found a turnaround to capitalize the right to ADDRESS, extract, and direct the water to the customers who did not pay for the water, but the work of having it “transported”. This is quite important for the reader to accept this. I have that feeling that sometimes people just refuse to believe this sort of things happen in some place in the world, much less in the same American continent. And yes, it happens. It happened to us, and it was about to happen to people in Chile, too, back in the 70s with Allende.

For the price of one iPhone, you could acquire almost a year’s supply of emergency food… but most Americans won’t… and most will DIE

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by Robert Jonathan, Natural News:

We’ve all seen images on TV or on social media of empty supermarket shelves as a storm bears down on an area. In the event of a widespread, long-term natural disaster or a civil insurrection, the ensuing lawlessness could make the chaos depicted on a typical episode of The Walking Dead or Z Nation look like a day at the local amusement park.

The Concerned U.S. Patriots website warns that most urbanites and suburbanites are woefully unprepared for a food shortage that would accompany a nightmarish breakdown of civil society because they are too reliant on buying food from the local grocery store, which in turns relies on external supply lines for replenishment.

People assume that there will always be food in the grocery stores. People assume that there will always be electricity (and most people have no idea the horrible ramifications of life without electricity). People assume a lot of things. …

Based on what I’ve read (and my instincts) I suspect that most urbanites and suburbanites probably don’t have much more than one or maybe two weeks of substantial meals to feed their family. …

Not only will people die from starvation, but many will die from the ensuing chaos. …

Who would survive? Those who might survive will be those who have at least prepared. Those who have thought ahead and planned and/or changed their way of life to one that’s more self-sufficient and self-reliant.

In a societal collapse or catastrophe, which also could include a financial crisis, a grid-down event, or a nuclear incident, disease and starvation are the likely causes of death, while physical violence might be a secondary concern, Natural News previously explained.

Natural News has also suggested that recent disasters like Hurricane Harvey or Irma make prepping a good idea. For the price of a new iPhone, which runs about $1,000 or so, you could buy and stockpile a large amount of emergency rations. (Related: Read about more prepping at OffGrid.news.)

Items in addition to MREs that you might want to store in the event of an emergencyinclude bottled water and other canned liquids, dehydrated foods, hard cheeses, protein bars/drinks, canned/dehydrated meats, coconut or olive oil, dry cereal, and oatmeal. Making your own bread such as hardtack or matzah, both of which have long shelf lives, has also been recommended.

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

Letter: A Recent Test of Stored 2008-Vintage MREs

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from Survival Blog:

Dear Editor:
I am always interested in the viability of stored supplies, and am amazed at how quickly expiration dates are reached when one becomes a prepper. I’m the fellow that sent in the report of long-frozen yeast some months ago, and recently conducted a taste-test of an MRE purchased in August, 2008. I thought our brother and sister readers may be interested in my findings.
The MRE was packaged by the MRE Star company, out of Hollywood, Florida. It was purchased in a case lot from a Brigade Quartermaster “brick & mortar” store in August, 2008. Though I have no way of knowing the actual manufacture date of the MREs (this simple data point seems to be shrouded in mystery on most all MREs), this store was fairly well respected at the time, and I don’t think they would have sold old merchandise. Though I have no doubt that these MREs were made for the civilian market, they did contain [military contract water-activated chemical]  heaters.

Fact: Your Chances of Surviving a Post-Collapse Urban Environment are Slim

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by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

ReadyNutrition Readers, Simply put, urban survival will be quite a bit different from survival in a remote wilderness area or even a sparsely-populated suburban area.  Let’s game some options, remembering that these options are general.  These actions aren’t specific to the type of breakdown of society (external by an attack from a foreign nation, or internal from economic collapse, for examples).

So, we have our collapse.  Let us “X” out a nuclear war/nuclear terrorist attack, as we can deal with all the other scenarios in variables without radiation to contend with.  Let’s identify the largest challenges faced for that high-rise apartment resident in Manhattan, or the family in the brownstone on the South side of Chicago.  First, let’s game the scenario:

After “The Day,” the city was almost completely without power.  You and your wife and two children were not able to leave town.  All mass transit was halted or discontinued.  It has been three days, and your family has been listening to static on the radio for the most part, with “campy” pre-recorded disaster broadcasts that have not been helpful or informative.  One of your neighbors left this morning after saying goodbye: he and his family had a boat, and they were heading out of the harbor, hoping to use one of the major rivers to make an escape.

They didn’t have room to take you or yours, but you wanted to stay put and not follow your neighbor’s idea: that there were plenty of boats whose owners were not going to use them…probably dead following the rioting and civil breakdown.  You’re beginning to think you should have listened to him.  Now you can hear angry voices outside, and you go to the window.  A mob has gathered at the top of your street!  They’re armed with rifles, bats, axes, machetes…and there are about 500 of them.  As you watch, they’re making a move toward the first house on the opposite side of the street.  Your house is less than half a block away.  There are no more cops, no more laws, no more order, and no help will be coming…on The Day After Doomsday.

Sounds pretty bleak, huh?  That’s because it is unless you keep a cool head about you and stay in focus.  Here are your primary tasks, and in this order:

  1. Defense: without a clear plan and the means to execute that plan, you’re going to have problems.
  2. Secure Domicile: in itself a part of the defense, as if you live in an easily-entered structure, you’re going to need to fortify it and have a security system and a guard/lookout schedule.
  3. Food and Water: always critical.  We touched on some of this in the last segment with water.  You should have at least a one-year supply for each member of your family of nonperishable food.
  4. Medical supplies and equipment: This entails the ability to perform first aid, to perform long-term supportive measures, and both short and long-term definitive care for special needs members of the family.
  5. Cohesion: your family needs to function akin to a well-oiled machine, as best it can.  Faith will be a key element: in God, in one another, and in what you are doing.  The inner discipline for each family member and for the group as a whole are key to enabling success for you and ensuring your survival.

Now let’s talk about what you’ll be facing, keeping in mind we already did not specify what type of disaster caused the end of it all.  A nuclear war will have radiation and probably foreign invaders at some point.  An asteroid impact will have traumatic weather catastrophes and cataclysmic effects all over.  What we are focusing on here is a city that is (for all intents and purposes) physically “intact” but is no longer functioning…its infrastructure is crippled, the social order is defunct, and chaos is the word for the day.  What are you facing?  Here are some of the challenges:

  1. Complete lack of food outside of your supplies: akin to a swarm of locusts, people will descend upon the grocery stores, convenience stores, dollar and discount stores, and big box stores…until the stores are no more…looting everything and anything they can grab.  Happened in New Orleans, I’m here to tell you…and it’ll happen again.  Dogs, cats, birds, and anything else that crawls, walks, flies, or runs…will be eaten.  All of this within the first week to two weeks.
  2. Cannibalism: when the disaster strikes, there will be a lot of people who will actively hunt other humans for food.  For those smiling naysayers, you may wish to read about the Donner Party, the Andes aircraft crash, and numerous other accounts of such things.  You can take it to the bank that it will happen again…and the “Drive By” also becomes the “Drive Thru.”
  3. Disease: it is a well-known fact that dead bodies, poor sanitary conditions, and lack of clean running water and working sewers will all contribute to diseases.  Typhus, E. coli, and plague will all return…diseases that are not a threat will quickly become out of control after the SHTF.
  4. Bad Guys:  Lots and lots of bad guys (and gals, not to leave you out of the loop!) doing really bad things and trying to do more bad…to you and yours.  We’re going to do a piece just on this, so I’m not going to burn out all my fire at once.  Suffice to say there will be gangs and small packs of “opportunistic entrepreneurs” out roaming the streets of your town…and they’re not looking to sell you on “Amway.”  They’ll take what they can…including your life.

So, what to do?  Well, here’s the first step to defeating all these factors:

Have a plan, and work that plan until it takes effect, and get out of town!

You’ll need to train, game out the scenarios, and work on your preps if you must hunker down.  The best thing to do is get out of the city or town.  In a high-rise apartment building, you’re going to be very limited in what you can take out of there effectively if the vehicles are not working and the electricity is out.  It’s hard to carry hundreds of pounds of gear and supplies down a dark staircase fifty stories and then escape a city in ruins or turmoil.  The odds are against it.  The key is to have a place…a safe place with supplies that you can reach…and when the time is right, get out of that city.

It will be important to form teams, within your own family, and potentially including others who live near you of a like mind.  Here’s a rule to follow:

No “free rides,” any allies outside of the family must have their own supplies and be self-sustaining to be a legitimate ally.

You must trust them implicitly: A real trust, not the BS handshaking of men and the hugging of women once a week at a card party or barbeque.  No, a real trust based on knowing them well, and for as long a time as possible.  You don’t want to undertake an endeavor, and then end up at the rendezvous point, and having them kill you and take your supplies.  Gasp!  Ohh!  Perish the thought, right?

Wrong: Know that human nature means in a disaster a “switch” can be flipped at any time and those you thought were your allies are now attackers.

You’re going to have to get together with your family and the other family or two who are on your “team” and figure a way to exfiltrate out of the city with as many supplies as you can carry.  Most of the gangs will be looking for easy pickings, therefore if you present a unified defensive posture…everyone knowing their functions and carrying their weapons and moving as a unit…this will dissuade them.  Wolves usually prey on the young, the weak, the old, and the sick first.  Men are no different.  They would prefer a bunch of fatsos sitting around in their living room with their supplies than a group of families that has their “S” together and can defend themselves.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

The Psychology of Desperate People: 15 Dead, 40 Injured in Food Stampede in Morocco

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

In prepper lore, there is a theory about how badly desperate people are likely to behave. Many folks outside the community scoff at this theory. They believe that we have become more civilized than to utilize violent measures when hunger strikes.

But an incident in Morocco the other day showed us exactly how hungry people behave. And it isn’t pretty.

Food was being distributed in a rural market in Sidi Boulaalam, a poor village. Women had come to the market with baskets to get food for their families, when suddenly, what could only be described as a stampede erupted.

At least 15 women died and five were wounded in a stampede during a food distribution operation on Sunday morning in rural Morocco, government officials said.

The victims were crushed as hundreds of people, mostly women, gathered to collect baskets of food at the market…

…In the aftermath of the stampede, clothes and other personal items were left scattered across the ground. (source)

That number was later updated to 40 people who were injured in the crush.

Witnesses told local media that this year’s annual food aid distribution at a local market in Sidi Boulaalam, an impoverished town with just over 8,000 inhabitants, attracted a larger crowd than usual.

“This year there were lots of people, several hundred people,” a witness who asked to remain anonymous told AFP news agency.

“People shoved, they broke down the barriers,” he said, adding that the injured had been evacuated to a hospital in Marrakesh. (source)

Here’s a video of the aftermath in this Tweet. (If it won’t play for you, go here.)

The value of the food being handed out? $16

15 families were left without mothers over $16 of food. To be fair, villagers in that part of the world live on about $3 per day, but still – this shows what desperation can do.

It’s not just Morocco.

It happens somewhere in the world every day. Here are some acts of desperation that have happened just in recent months.

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca

Never Waste An Opportunity To Buy Good Stuff Inexpensively!

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by Old Bobbert, Survival Blog:

When there is an opportunity, we don’t waste it. We preppers are very good at nearly everything we do, once we finally start down the road to project completion and timely success. The few things we do poorly are generally the foundation for our poor public image. Some of these are our poor selections, among the millions of printed pages concerning “being prepared” to live through a disaster.

Our most glaring and dramatic procedural mistake is also the main reason non-preppers also fail at an alarmingly high percent of starts. Yes, we still have much in common with our non-prepper friends and family.

Not Shopping With Frugality

We do not shop in any manner that even remotely resembles frugality. And we love small, inexpensive gadgets that are promoted as the “be all and end all” trinket to make sleeping on a bed of gravel enjoyable. This is well known as a final, unnecessary deal beaker, in all seventeen dialects of spoken English, except in my house, of course.

 

Shop on Internet

And, yes, we do a very poor job on knowing how to shop on the Internet for information about something we could actually buy much less expensive at one of the big box stores. We should use the Internet as an product information and retail store selection device. Instead, we use the Internet as an excellent means of not looking like a very young, Y2K, survivalist, weird person buying strange items by the hundreds and doing an instant Tom Hanks “stranded on an island without a razor” imitation.

We are still somewhat embarrassed to be known as a “prepper”. We are wasting time, money, energy, and family positive attitude!

What a waste of an opportunity when the news media is crying the sky, named Harvey, Irma, or Jose or whatever storm name is next on the politically correct list, is falling on us. We can go into stores and ask what are people buying “today “ that will be important if the local power goes out and is still inexpensive to buy? That’s always a great question!

Prepping- A Sign of Astute Observation and Talent

Being a prepper is a sign of astute observation and deduction/analysis talent. Others really wish that they had your abilities and foresight. “Too bad, so sad.” Milk the bad weather for every ounce of community support for being a prepper as best you can. Embarrassed? Get over it, and get busy upgrading your communication skills, your nutrition perspectives, and your knowledge of the benefits of group purchasing. That’s how we can realize lower unit prices, zero shipping charges, and often no sales taxes.

Free E-Books

We are still gun-shy about anything that remotely looks, feels, smells, or sounds like … are you ready?… a “Free E-book” from amazon. There are zillions of free titles that will help a prepper to get ahead of the game in many survivalist interests.

Just do this amazon search wordage: “free kindle preparedness books”. Today, I found 27 free titles you can download to your PC or a MAC or a tablet or a Kindle.

This is just a small sample and from only a single source.

  1. “Amazon Living Off The Grid And Loving It: 40 Creative Ways To Living A Stress Free And Self-Sustaining Lifestyle” (Simple Living, Off Grid Living, Off The GridHomes, DIY Survival Guide, Prepping & Survival) Kindle Edition by Kathy Stanton ( $0.00 kindle unlimited logoor perhaps this one, also free:
  2. Prepping On A Budget: Penny Pinching Prepping: Cheap and Free ways to stockpile now before the SHTF AND TEOTWAWKI” Kindle Edition by K Owen (Author $0.00 kindle unlimited logo)or this one, also free:
  3. Prepping for Disaster 2-Box Set: Everyday Carry Guide, Bug Out Bag Guide” Nov 21, 2015 by Brad Kaiser and Ken Johnson Kindle Edition $0.00How can we not appreciate this freebie?
  4. Bronchial Asthma In Children, A Book That Tells You How To Help Your Child Understand And Manage Bronchial Asthma” Kindle Edition by Abram Snyman (Author) $0.00 kindle unlimited logoor this good health, all free
  5. Transform Your Health: 10 Easy Habits to Lose Weight for Good: Diets Don’t Work. Healthy Habits Do. Start These 10 Lifestyle Habits Today to Transform … Feel Fantastic! (Break The Habit Series)” Kindle Edition by Natalie Loeffler (Author) $0.00

Enough Kindle– Learn More

Okay, that’s enough kindle stuff. You now have the means to gather greater skills and knowledge. Get busy looking for someone to learn with you!

As senior and experienced preppers, we are really good at storing food stocks, various types of ammo, a great variety of barter goods, and, yes, we men did remember to allocate funding for women’s personal care products, those items and other stuff that our Procter and Gamble engineer son learned to call “fem-care”. He created the machinery that packaged the pampers and the other stuff.

Documentation

Yes, we do know how to maximize every cubic inch of storage space to put prepper type stuff away, but we are not so good at documentation concerning what it is, and how much we have stored, and when should we rotate for new shelf-life, and where it is. Things in storage need to be recorded, whether in the house, basement, attic, garage, or garage attic area. And now we have come to the biggie male mistake for which we are famous!

This common really dumb mistake, usually restricted to adult males who generally do most everything else almost perfectly, comes in three simple, easy parts.

Watch my lips as I read this to you. I’ll go slow so you miss nothing.

  1. Somewhere in the list of documented items above, write how much the stuff costs!, and
  2. Tell and show all of this “storage stuff” documented information to your favorite in-house special person (spouse, et cetera ), and
  3. Actually show that trusted in-house person exactly where the stuff is stored.

We call this simple three stepper activity the “hands on the stuff” and “hands off of the divorce papers”.

It is a long established and proven non-toxic prepper home safety process. Try it just once, and impress the youngsters in the house.

Recognize Expertise, Hers in Shopping

Moving on to another specific area of expertise, we guys usually need stern guidance and picture demo instructions, small bulk amounts of an array of usual and never-to-be-forgotten or lost would be the usual and everyday usage “stuff” we guys always find in the bathroom when we need any of it, even though we have never shopped for any of it. Therefore, do not start shopping now. You are many years too late. Give in to her experience gracefully. Do not ask how much it cost, now smile as you slowly back out of the bathroom.

Read More @ SurvivalBlog.com

Commuter’s Get Home Bag

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from Survival Blog:

Packing a Get Home Bag

How do you prepare a get home bag when you commute more than 100 miles each day for work? Let’s for a moment presume that you have no idea that some sort of event is about to happen that will render your job irrelevant, your vehicle useless, and your location being close to your office, to which you commute each day, when it occurs. How and what in the world would you consider packing in a go bag and then heading home?

I received a perfect example of your travel day changing due to a recent hurricane. Hurricane Irma forced a mass migration of Floridians to flee the storm and caused all the local roads to be choked. All of my alternative roads were jammed with those trying to get back home to Florida. The entire downtown area was affected because of some folks overloading the local roads. Tempers flared, and driving skills devolved to a sad state of traffic flow. Imagine three roads into town backed up beyond capacity.

Are you planning to shelter in place at your office? You’re not if you have family at home and are confident we just got hit by a CME or EMP. I work in a metropolitan area, and that will be the last place I want to remain.

Walking

If a healthy person can walk an easy 30 miles in a day, how far do you think your over-weight self is going to get? Add to the fact that, even without a backpack, about the best you can probably do is 3-3.5 miles per hour on flat terrain.

I recently turned 51 and am 5’9 and 235 lbs. I can tell you from experience that under ideal conditions 3 mph would be a blessing if you are out of shape. Add to that if you begin to suffer from shin-splints, your new walking plan just became a painful endeavor. I have never really been one of those to worry about counting calories; I ate what I wanted and have for the most part been very fortunate to not be as obese as many I have met that weren’t so fortunate. However, I am not as fit as I would like to be.

Planning your survival begins with the basic ability of being able to survive! Can you walk, easily? How about with 20 lbs. on your back? What about walking with 35 lbs? Are you in the shape where you can even carry a backpack? Are you planning on just pulling a piece of luggage home on wheels? How loud do you think that would be? Unless you plan to stick to just a highway road, you will be prime pickings if there is an individual or group that wants your items worse than you.

Am I sounding like your doctor or someone else nagging you to take better care of yourself? Then let it be a lesson that you should. If you on the other hand just don’t care, then by all means go ahead and scroll past and let this lesson fall on deaf ears. But it will be something you will regret someday. This is for anyone that wants to at least have a chance.

Plans To Get Home

Considering the needs you would have to get home, how would you handle this? Have you made plans and communicated them to your spouse/significant other or just your family in general? Have you informed them of a pre-determined meeting place? Did you at least worked out a message that you would want to relay to a loved one looking for you?

At the very least, have you said, “If something happens and I have to walk home, the first place I will stop on my way is at (so-and-so’s) and let them know I’m alright. I’ll gather any intel and warnings on the current situation and proceed onward home”. If you haven’t, then why not? Have you thought about what season you are currently in? If you’re like me, it’s hot 9-10 months out of the year, so you may need to re-roll your pack each quarter year to accommodate for your local climate.

Commuting Between States

My situation is somewhat unique in that I live in one state and work in another. It’s only an hour commute for me and almost all highway. What is an easy commute now would not be so easy for my return home on foot. I am not entirely sure I would want to walk the distance on an open road. It’s all dynamic, of course, given the circumstances, but I believe I would be better off taking back roads home. However, taking back roads would add to the time/distance equation. I would recommend driving these out sometime just to get an idea of the time involved.

Road Map and Topographic Map

Having a map of the roads available to me and a topographic map would be one of the first things I would want in my get home pack. Preferably, I would want my maps waterproof, but the practicality of that isn’t really in my view. Therefore, I would choose to have it enclosed in a zip lock bag of some sort and folded up to take as little room as possible.

Familiarity With Areas Traveled Through

Another thing to consider about this situation is how familiar are you with the areas you will need to travel through to get to your destination. Are you traveling through mostly farmland? Is it mostly urban? This is just something to consider. Maybe you would want to consider a small cache placed somewhere along the way. I’m just saying that it is worth considering.

Time To Get Home

Seventy-two hours is about as long as I would think you would need to allow in order to get home. What if you weren’t in the best of shape but you were at least working towards that goal. Let’s say you have shin splints or Plantar Fasciitis, ouch! Now there’s a painful journey for you. This is especially true if you are planning to continually walk. Your 72-hour journey just turned out to be much longer.

Resting Time and Pain Relief

How much longer we really can’t say, because you are going to need to allow resting time. There’s another thing I would consider, that is as long as you don’t have issue taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) a.k.a. aspirinAleve, et cetera. I keep a small 100-count bottle in my bag, because they are just so inexpensive (about $2) that it’s hard not to justify it, and it also doesn’t irritate my stomach. Tylenol is another avenue; they are around $7 for a 100-count bottle, but it would still be worth considering.

While we’re talking about pain relief, you should look into and seriously consider a product called moleskin. If you are susceptible to blisters on your feet, this will be a Godsend. One note to this: Be sure you have a small pair of scissors, whether a small, individual pair or one on a multi-purpose (Swiss Army) knife. Also, learn how to use the moleskin beforehand! Basically, you cut the moleskin to be bigger than the blister and cut out a hole for the skin of the blister to “breath”.

Addressing Pain and Need For Water To Drink

Okay, so now that we have a map, some pain and inflammation medication, and blister protection, what are you going to eat or drink? How do you prepare it? As I stated earlier, let’s presume that you are looking at a 72-hour window to make it home.

Water will be your greatest need and desire. Without it, you will be miserable and eventually succumb to death. Personally, I would have a Lifestraw for the convenience and weight alone; otherwise, a container water bottle with the filter built-in. But a bottle is not always practical, so worst case you will need to sterilize some water yourself with either iodinebleach, or by boiling.

Sometimes you may want to just consider a way to carry some water with you and then figure out a way to make sure it’s safe to drink when you have a chance to drink. Having a lightweight method is going to be your best method.

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Radio Communication Methods During Emergencies- Part 1

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by R.N.C., Survival Blog:

Communications Overview and General Guidelines

About This Article

A modern two-way radio combines transmit and receive components together and is known as a transceiver. In this article I will use the terms radio and transceiver interchangeably. I’m also trying to write this to the largest audience possible and for that reason I may sacrifice technical accuracy in order to express the concept.

Not all emergencies will require advanced communications equipment. Common usage technologies, such as email, voice mail, and SMS texting, should not be ignored. The more options you are able to take advantage of, the better your chances of establishing communications.

Radio Communications and Where To Start

When it comes to radios, different frequencies propagate differently and have different send and receive requirements. Some frequencies are great for your neighborhood but will rarely be usable over three miles; others can talk across your neighborhood and international but may have gaps in communicating throughout your state.

 

Each frequency has a “ground wave” or “line of sight” aspect where it spreads out horizontally and a “sky wave” aspect where it can bounce off of the troposphere or ionosphere, depending on conditions. These “sky wave” conditions are impacted by the sun cycle, time of day, temperature, and season. Some frequencies only bounce off the troposphere or ionosphere under unique conditions. Each frequency also has specific length requirements around the size of the antenna and the optimal height to place that antenna. This is all a balancing act between your personal requirements and technical requirements. This balancing act will require testing and tinkering.

General Rules of Distance – Buyer Beware

VHF/UHF Ham and FRS/GMRS are line of sight. This means that the curve of the earth gets in the way of the signal. The higher two antennas are the greater the distance over which they can be used for communications. When both antennas are about six feet off the ground and no object interference exists, you can expect a maximum of about six miles distance under theoretically optimal conditions and with enough power on both radios to get a signal through the background noise. Note that this isn’t always the case, and often VHF/UHF Ham radios, and sometimes GMRS, use repeaters that have antennas a hundred or more feet above the ground.

With a repeater like this, line of site is between your radio and the tower. Conversations between people 20 or 30 miles apart are also common using a repeater if it is in between them. FRS does not allow for repeaters or extended antennas, MURS allows for limited antenna deployments, and GMRS repeaters are rare.

What Line of Sight Calculations Mean

Calculating the line of sight doesn’t mean that two points can actually talk. I’m putting the basic formula below, but remember this: Just because you can draw a straight line between two points does not mean you didn’t run out of ink along the way. Don’t think of these equations in terms of how far you can talk; think of them in terms of knowing at what point it’s impossible to talk past. Personally, I have a D-Star repeater within line of sight but near the edge.

Digital, like D-star, is funny. It compresses the bandwidth, so in theory it should go further than standard FM; but that connection needs to be consistent. There’s probably a bunch of trees that cause me to drop in and out, or I just don’t have enough power to maintain a connection, because I can hardly be heard on that repeater. I can connect to different FM-only repeaters at near the same distance, without issue.

Basic Formula for Line of Sight

The basic formula to get the theoretical line of sight is:

(1.23 * square root of (height in feet of antenna 1 ) + 1.23 * square root of (height in feet of antenna 2 ) = line of sight in Nautical Miles).

General Distances of Handheld Radios

To get a general idea of how far two handheld radios can talk VHF or UHF, it would be 1.23*2.449 + 1.23*2.449 = 6.025 Nautical Miles or about 6.933 standard miles. The 1.23 is related to the radius of the earth, and there are variations in this value depending on the terrain. Personally, I replace the 1.23 with 1 in that equation. The math is faster, and range would be more realistic, for a handheld or low-power radio. For a simple way to calculate the distance when you know the height of two antennas and there are no major obstacles between them, try using this website link . Note that they do some rounding and wishful thinking.

General Distances of CB Radios

CB, 10/6 meters radios use ground wave and sometimes sky wave propagation. This means that the curve of the earth gets in the way, like with VHF/UHF, but the radio wave starts to bend with the earth. You might get less than 3.5 miles, and you might get 10 miles out of it. The physical local characteristics of earth impacts distance. There are times that temperature differences in atmospheric layers, and the number of sun spots, allow for great distances by bounding the signals back and forth between the earth and ionosphere/troposphere.

General Distances of  HF Radios

HF radios use ground wave and sometimes sky wave propagation. As you increase in wavelength and decrease in MHz of a frequency, the earth has more of an impact on the curve of the radio wave and ground wave distance increases for most bands. Unfortunately, along with this increase in distance, there is an increase in the size and height of your antenna. Keep in mind that there is also almost always a gap between where the ground wave ends and where the ionospheric bounced wave comes back to earth. This dead-zone also varies in length, depending on numerous conditions. (See Dead Zone below.)

Purchasing Communications Devices

When purchasing new electronics, look for the following features:

  • Water Proofing. Regardless of a product’s statement that it is waterproof, have alternate layers of protection. Seals fail for all kinds of reasons. Make sure you can keep your electronics dry. Note that most electronics are not waterproof, but most have an IP rating on the device. Look for the IP rating, and it will tell you impact, water, and dust resistance. See the following link for a description: http://www.dsmt.com/resources/ip-rating-chart/ .
  • Shock and Impact Resistance. Similar to waterproofing, make sure you can protect your equipment from physical damage. The IP rating of a device also covers what kind of impact a device can withstand.
  • Have a way to power and charge the device. Don’t rely on just one method of powering and charging a device. Many portable devices use a USB charger plugged into an AC wall outlet. If your device uses this, make sure to also have a cigarette lighter charger adapter (car DC adapter) for charging. Some devices can also run directly off of an automobile’s DC current. Know if yours can. If your device has a special battery, see if there are options for using common batteries in an emergency. Devices that require more amperage often run off of AC to DC converters/inverters (power supply). These devices can usually run directly off of a 12v DC battery, such as a car battery. If yours can, make sure you can charge that battery when there is a power outage. Solar panels can and often are plugged into 12v DC batteries. Quality solar chargers have diodes that prevent the battery from draining back into the solar panel when the sun goes down. This topic is beyond the scope of this article.

When integrating your electronics with others, pay attention to Bands, Frequency, and Modulation. Radios that are stronger than FRS and CB are commonly referred to by the bands they support. A Band is a range of like frequencies, represented in their general wavelength. For instance, a CB radio operates around 26MHz. To get the band, just divide 300 by 26 and you end up with 11.5, which is usually rounded down to the whole number (11 meter band). For a 144MHz radio, the band is 2 meters. Modulation can be described as the mode in which that wavelength is sent out and received; think FM vs AM on your car radio.

  • Bands are usually grouped in three types of radios: VHF/UHF, HF/50Mhz, and Specialized combination, including single band radios. A 10 Meter radio is a common single band radio.
  • When looking at getting an advanced radio, it is very important to pay attention to the Modulation that the radio supports. For an FRS radio, you have less to be concerned about because there are fewer options available to the customer. However, when looking for a HF, 6m or 10 Ham radio, there are a lot of options. AM/SSB/CW and even FM is used on 10 and 6 meter repeaters.
  • Pay attention to what is used in your area. You can go online and look up local Ham radio clubs. Often they will list local repeaters and the options those repeaters support. Knowing what is used actively in your area will help when it comes to shorter range, 70cm/2m/6m/10m repeaters along with supported digital modes such as DMR, Echolink, and DSTAR.
  • Note: There are a number of 70cm/2m/6m/10m combination radios out there. Almost all of them are FM only, and most communications on 6m/10m use AM or SSB only. In addition, the frequency range for connecting to a 10m repeater is outside of the tech license range.

Common and Non-FCC License Dependent Communications

The simplest way to set up communications between two or more people is by using non-licensed radio communications. As the title suggests, these do not require special licensing by the FCC; however, the radio technologies that do not require licenses are the ones that are limited in power and range. The greatest amount of flexibility and range around radio-based communications is covered in the FCC license dependent communications section below.

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God’s Perfect Bounty: Our Natural Survival Garden- Part 2

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from Survival Blog:

I have been telling you about God’s provision for our survival through nature and specifically writing about the many uses of the American beautyberry. They are edible, medicinal, and decorative berries. In part 1, I shared a recipes for insect repellent, tea for skin ailments, and more using various parts of the American beautyberry plant. I also told how I made juice with the berries. Now, let’s move on to more culinary uses for the American beautyberry and take a look at another multipurpose plant as well.

American Beautyberry Jelly

After much experimenting with several jelly recipes (some twice), I kept getting glaze instead of jelly (due to the humidity, altitude, and other factors). Finally, I came up with one that actually jells. This pursuit is how I happened to experiment with the syrup and glazes. You can see now why it’s important to experiment!

Recipe for American Beautyberry Jelly

The following is the recipe that actually jells:

  1. Wash and sort berries
  2. Put berries into a pan (about 10-1t), add water, cover, and bring to a boil.
  3. Boil 20 minutes, mashing occasionally with potato masher.
  4. Turn off heat and cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. Run berries through a strainer, mashing remaining berries as you go.
  6. Run strained juice through three layers of cheesecloth into a clean pan.
  7. Add pectin and bring to a rolling boil.
  8. Continue to boil for 3 minutes.
  9. Add sugar and lemon juice.
  10. Bring back to a rolling boil and continue heating until candy thermometer reaches 220 degrees; then continue to boil for 5-6 minutes more.
  11. Pour into sterilized canning jars, leaving ¼” headspace (following the Ball Canning Process).
  12. Put on sterilized lids and the rings.
  13. Water bath can for 10 minutes.

Making Jalapeno Beautyberry Jelly

I experimented making Jalapeno beautyberry Jelly by adding five (de-seeded and membranes removed) jalapenos that I chopped and put in a spice bag and then added that bag to the jelly mixture while cooking. My family loved both types of jelly. I caution you to wear gloves while working with the jalapenos, because during this experiment I didn’t; my hands were on fire for over six hours. I tried soaking my hands in milk, running under cool water, and putting aloe vera gel from my plant on them. Nothing helped. That was one learning experience that I’m saving you from.

A Plant That Lives Up To Its Name

The American beautyberry lives up to its name. Its beaded branches make beautiful dry arrangements and decorations. Berries can also be used as a dye. What a great survival plant God’s perfect bounty supplied.

American Beautyberry Research References

I’ve tried to reference my research on the American beautyberry, but there are simply too many to list. These are some of my favorite sites: Garden.org, Lifewithkeo.com, Authenticflorida.com, Flicker.com, Herbpathy.com, and Chron.com.

Seminole Squash

Another example of God’s perfect bounty is Seminole squash, which is also known as Seminole pumpkin (Cucurbita Moschata). I was first introduced to it by a cousin in North Florida. She grew it in her garden and gave me what she called a Seminole squash. Then she told me to cut it in half, clean out seeds and strings, and cook it similar to a butternut squash. She didn’t say much else, only that it was a good squash that was drought resistant, pests didn’t seem to bother it, and they were easy to grow.

Cooking Seminole Squash

I cooked it by cutting it in half, scooping the string and seeds out, adding butter, and microwaving it until it was tender, about for 4-8 min. It had a buttery rich flavor, and I saved some seeds for spring planting.

Volunteers Came Up In My Garden

In March, I was getting my garden ready using our compost. A couple of weeks later, two volunteer squashes came up. At the time, I didn’t know what kind of squash it was. I’d forgotten about the Seminole, but I decided if God put it there I’d leave it. It turned out to be Seminole squash. By May, it had taken over my garden. So, I decided to do some research about it and found it to be another wonder plant, also known as a pumpkin.

Resistant to Problems and Superior to Other Squash

Seminole squash, like the American beautyberry, is drought-, disease-, and pest-resistant. Furthermore, it has multiple uses. This plant possesses qualities that make it superior to any of the other varieties of squash and pumpkin. It’s heirloom and non-GMO, almost extinct, and self-seeding. (arkoftaste.com)

Seminole squash survives when other squash fail, due to winds from rainstorms and bugs. In my garden, it was the only variety of squash that produced well and survived the invasion of the bugs. I got very little zucchini, crookneck, or spaghetti squash this year.

Grows In Sun Within Zones 1-8

It grows well in USDA hardiness zones 1-8. Seminole squash likes full sun, although the leaves tend to wilt during the day, perking back up at evening time. Closer to a butternut squash, it’s shaped like a pumpkin, except more of a tear drop shape. Hence, its being called a squash or pumpkin. However, the shape can vary as much as the big green leaves do.

Colors of Green, Variegated, Yellow, or Buff

Young squash can be green, variegated, or have yellow spots on them. You may or may not have grey spots on the leaves. When fully ripe, the fruit is a buff color with flesh that’s a yellow orange color. It has a rich, buttery sweet flavor.

Planting

It takes about 95-120 days, and in warmer temperatures can be planted anytime except the dead of winter. The vines love to climb trees, fences, trellises, and upright objects climbing over other plants. A portion of vines that have produced fruit die back, but runners, which root at the nodes, will keep growing and producing. The vines grow up to 30 ft. I also planted seeds at the base of a 5 1/2 foot tall dead oak stump; it grew up and over the other side.

Flowers and Fruit Quantity

The yellow flowers are as big as your hand and have both male and female flowers. The female flower grows a squash on the vine before the flower; the male flower doesn’t. I got over 30 squashes off of those two volunteer plants.

Harvest

You can leave the fruit out long after the vines have died, or you can harvest when the stems turn yellow. Cut leaving 3-4 inches of stem, and it will store for up to a year at room temperature. Leave sitting after you harvest for three weeks before eating, and it gets even sweeter. We date ours with permanent marker.

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